Carmen Crespo: The judge investigating box b of the PP in Almería imputes the Andalusian minister of agriculture | Spain

Judge Ana Beén Vico, who is investigating the alleged b-box of the Popular Party in Almería, has called the Minister of Agriculture of the Andalusian Government, Carmen Crespo, and 19 other people to testify as investigated, as this newspaper has learned , who had access to the car signed on December 21. The involvement of Crespo in the alleged illegal financing scheme linked to the payment of commissions by the construction company Hispano Almería, SA to different Almería city councils governed by the popular and which has been investigated since 2014, is related to its participation in the management of subsidies to the La Mojonera consistory —whose mayor is also accused— when she was president of the Association of Tourism Promoters of the Poniente, between 2009 and 2011, against the criteria of the Intervention, according to the investigation carried out by the UDEF.

Crespo, who has been called to testify on April 8 at 11:30 am, is a regional councilor and deputy, so experts consulted consider that her summons as investigated by the judge who is instructing the case has little distance because, as it is measured, You can only be investigated by the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia. Sources from her environment have acknowledged to EL PAÍS that she has no knowledge of the judicial order, but that she is calm because as president of the Association of Tourism Promoters of Poniente, formed by consistories, in 2009 she signed the action plan for the construction of a Museum of Agriculture in La Mojonera, but when the unfavorable reports began to be issued, as of 2011, she was no longer president, having left the mayor’s office of Adra.

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“The projects that are established in an agreement are executed by the municipalities, an association itself cannot decide on these issues and, finally, it is the Board that certifies and validates,” indicates the source consulted. From the Andalusian PP they refer to the Statutes of the Party, which in its article 22 establishes that in the event that it becomes known that an affiliate “has been called to declare as investigated in a judicial investigation” will proceed “to the opening of an informative file “that will become” disciplinary at the moment in which it becomes known of the opening of the oral trial in the corresponding judicial procedure. ” This is also the opinion validated and endorsed by its leader, Pablo Casado.

Before occupying the position as councilor of the Board, Crespo was mayor of Adra, between 2003 and 2011, and a regional parliamentarian from 1998 to 2011, when she held the position of Government delegate in Andalusia until 2015, the year in which she again held a seat in the Andalusian Parliament. In 2009, when the Poniente Tourism Promoters Association was created, she signed as president the agreement with the City Council of La Mojonera for the construction of the Museum of Agriculture. Its construction took two years and Cara, its mayor, justified the delay in giving priority to other projects. The construction was awarded to a joint venture in which Hispano Almería was located. In 2012, the auditor alerted about unjustified payments. Their notes of objection do not appear in the justification file for the subsidy, according to the report of the judicial police.

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During its investigation, the UDEF determined that the PP of Almería, the provincial organization with the most power in Andalusia, financed its electoral campaigns for the 2003 municipal elections and the 2008 regional ones with illegal commissions from the construction company Hispano Almería. The macrocause, which began in 2014, has been divided into separate pieces linked to the city councils that are the epicenter of the alleged illegal financing. The investigating judge Number 3 of Almería who instructs the investigation of the supposed box b of the Almeria PP, already imputed 15 days ago to the secretary, a mayor and the former inspector of Roquetas de Mar, whose mayor for 26 years, Gabriel Amat, president of honor of the PP of Almería and a member of the new Andalusian PP executive, has been in the spotlight of the irregularities detected in 62 works awarded to the construction company Hispano Almería, but has never appeared as a defendant.

In addition to Roquetas, another of the municipalities indicated by the police is La Mojonera. Along with Cara, its mayor between 2003 and 2105, most of the ex-ediles of the City Council are imputed, who in 2006 voted in favor of the extrajudicial recognition of credits for the payment of swaps, with an unfavorable report of the secretary and intervention and two secretaries of the hiring table in the same year. Cara was already called to testify as a defendant on July 18, 2015 for alleged prevarication, but he did not collect the notification and did not appear in court.

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His appointment as president of the Institute for Agrarian Research and Training of the Board (Ifapa) at the proposal of Crespo when she came to the Board as Minister of Agriculture, was highly questioned by the PSOE, which recalled that he was being investigated for the alleged collection of illegal commissions to Almeria consistories governed by the popular. The Andalusian vice president and territorial leader of Citizens in Andalusia, Juan Marín, was responsible for defending his appointment, warning that if he was charged with political corruption, “this man or any member of this Government” will have “the decency” not to expect that nobody ask for resignations. “We will go earlier,” Marín said. Cara was removed from office as director of Ifapa in January 2021.

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Now, the judicial investigations try to determine if Hispano Almería maintained a system of payments to this party in exchange for the award of works, as well as if there was illicit enrichment of its leaders. The former employees revealed bites in white envelopes with 500 euro bills, always delivered at lunches or private offices to politicians. Crespo, Cara and the rest of the 20 defendants – among whom are also the builder and owner of Hispano Almería, Miguel Ángel Morales, its CEO, Miguel Ángel Morales Carrlilo and other senior officials of the conglomerate -, the judge them investigates for alleged crimes against the Public Treasury, money laundering, embezzlement, prevarication, bribery, influence peddling, prohibited negotiations with authorities or officials and criminal organization and group.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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